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FCW : November 15, 2013
November 15, 2013 FCW.COM 27 throughout an agency budget. That makes it dif cult for a CIO to consoli- date and standardize because it requires agreement among many stakeholders and mechanisms to appropriately gath- er funds from their many line items. • Program structure. Most large IT programs are the responsibility of a mission or business organization in an agency, not the direct responsibility of the CIO s of ce. Ten to 15 years ago, given the state of IT at the time, having a program own its infrastructure made sense and was the only practical way to deliver a working system. That is no longer the case, but agencies are often trapped: The program needs to deliver, but it lacks available shared infrastruc- ture and so buys its own, perpetuating the stovepipe approach to delivering systems and forestalling the consolida- tion of shared IT infrastructure. • Procurement structure. Although there is clearly nothing in the Federal Acquisition Regulation that precludes moving to a modernized, standardized and consolidated IT infrastructure, the current models for acquisition and pro- curement present signi cant hurdles to overcome in terms of migrating from existing contracts to new business models. • Political structure. This is the larg- est barrier because government culture tends to value mission-oriented exper- tise and experience much more than support-function expertise and expe- rience, including IT. Further, agency leaders tend to focus on shorter-term (less than two years) initiatives in which signi cant mission impact can be achieved. Overhauling a complex IT infrastructure can be a ve-year under- taking, with little payback accrued in the rst couple years. This is not politi- cally viable in many agencies. To see those four structural forces at work, you need look no further than the lack of adherence to the Clinger- Cohen Act. The law, which established the agency CIO, is supposed to provide the CIO with authority over IT and direct reporting to the agency head. Precious few CIOs can claim they have anything close to those authorities. The Government Accountability Of ce con- cluded that "CIOs do not consistently have responsibility for 13 major areas of IT and information management as de ned by law or deemed as critical to effective IT management." Although I believe the current Fed- eral IT Acquisition Reform Act to be helpful, I do not believe any legislation by itself will be suf cient to address the key issue of IT infrastructure rational- I do not believe any legislation by itself will be suf cient to address the key issue of IT infrastructure rationalization or the larger set of issues in IT management. DRAGUTIN CVIJANOVIC
October 30, 2013
November 30, 2013